Menomonie got a little taste of the rest of the world on Thursday, Nov. 10 for the 2016 University of Wisconsin–Stout Cultural Show. Many international students came together to inform not just the student body, but Menomonie locals about the varying cultures of their home countries.
The show began with an hour of wonderful exhibits. Students donned traditional clothes and created large presentation boards with various information about their home countries and all sorts of photos and objects that represented their daily lives back home. Show attendees were encouraged to walk through all of the exhibits, visit with the students, learn about things they may not have known before and get the college student’s delight—free food.
From authentic Jamaican hot chocolate to Chinese candy, eggrolls and fried rice, food was one of the stars of the show. Not just for us locals either; when Gadudhm and Varshae, two Indian international students, were asked what they missed most from home, one quick glance was shared between them before instantaneously responding, “Food! Definitely the food.”
As popular as the food was, the show was stolen by the wonderful performances of all of the international students. Through an array of dances, songs, poetry and fashion, the international show was a great success with a wonderful turnout. Attendees were lucky enough to see not only a traditional Indian dance with masterful elegance, but also a modern Indian fusion group dance that showed some serious dancing prowess.
The audience was also treated to beautiful and moving songs by students from China, Nigeria, Korea and some from the U.S. The final act of the show was a wild ride from start to end, as a collaboration with UW–Stout’s own drum club came together to help perform a traditional Jamaican dance. With booming loud, complex polyrhythms and a strong sense of beat, it was a challenge to not want to dance along yourself.
The University of Wisconsin–Stout Cultural Shows will always be a wonderful mixer full of fun, culture, love and expression. The 2016 show was no exception.